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of weeks. but going over the fiscal cliff is serious business, and i'm here seriously trying to resolve it and i would hope the white house would get serious as well. >> is this based on your meeting with secretary geithner or your phone call with president obama last night. could you tell us something about that phone call? >> well, we had a very nice conversation last night. it was direct. and straightforward. but this assessment i give you today would be a product of both of those conversations. >> how much would you be open to the idea of discretionary spending cuts as part of a down payment to get to a longer range solution on entitlements and tax reforms? >> there are a lot of options on the table including that one. >> before the election you were asked whether if obama won taxes would have to go up. i are acknowledging that they will. >> the day after the election i came here and made it clear that the republicans would put revenue on the table as a way to begin to move the process to get this resolved. >> my question is, what message do you have for people who look at the negot
of an agreement for the fiscal cliff? >> we're not going to negotiate over what is a fundamental responsibility of congress which is to pay the bells that congress incurs. it should be part of the deal, it should be done, and it should be done without drama. we cannot allow our economy to be held hostage again to the whims of an ideological agenda. it's -- we are the united states of america. we are the greatest economy on earth. we pay our bills, we always have. if congress wants to reduce spending, that should be part of the negotiations. that go into making digs about how we spend -- the programs we spend money on. and the president is very interested in reducing spending an reducing our deficit but you don't default on the economy. that is -- we saw -- we saw what happened in 2011. and it's unacceptable. >> disease did the president have a chance to speak to any republicans last night at the reception here about the fiscal cliff? >> the president and first lady met with scores and scores of lawmakers last night, as is the norm in a situation like this, but i'm not going to read out individu
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